St. Louis Officials Find Ben Ownby & Shawn Hornbeck Alive!

** Ben Ownby was kidnapped on Monday…
** Shawn Hornbeck was kidnapped in 2002!!!

The defendant was arrested in two other states for deviant behavior. He did not register in Missouri as a sex offender when he moved to the state.

Shawn Hornbeck (L) and Ben Ownby were found alive today in Kirkwood, MO.
Shawn Hornbeck was 11 when he was kidnapped. He is now nearly 16.

KMOV Video of Police announcing the boys are alive HERE
The boys were found in an apartment in Kirkwood, MO, a suburb of St. Louis. This is a very nice suburb although the apartment complex is not in the best part of Kirkwood.

Ben Ownby’s school friend said that when he last saw Ben a white pickup was speeding away from where the school bus dropped him off. Today authorities found the pickup, Ben Ownby and Shawn Hornby who disappeared in 2002 and was missing for 4 1/2 years! (KSDK)

KSDK reports:

KSDK – Days after an Amber Alert was issued for 13-year-old William “Ben” Ownby, he has been found alive-and years after one was issued for Shawn Hornbeck, he, too, has been found alive.

They were found in an apartment in Kirkwood, a suburb of St Louis.

At a news conference, police said they had charged 41-year-old Michael J. Devlin of Kirkwood with one count of kidnapping. In 1997, he was charged with indecent exposure in Ogden, Utah, and had apparently gone under the name Michael Tate.

2 Kirkwood police officers were serving a warrant in the area of the apartment when they saw a truck that matched the description of one seen leaving the area where Ownby was last seen.

The search began Monday afternoon, when Ben disappeared shortly after getting off a school bus near Beaufort, Missouri, in Franklin County. Another teen who was with him saw a white truck with a camper shell speeding away from the area. Police had been searching for the truck, and were following up on more than 500 leads.

Geoff Hadler, A neighbor at the apartment complex, flagged down police about the pickup he noticed at the apartment complex that matched the one described on the news.

Shawn Hornbeck went missing in 2002 while he was riding his bike. (KMOV)

Both children have been reunited with their parents!

The St. Louis Post Dispatch has more on the defendent:

St. Louis County Court records show Devlin was charged in traffic violation cases in 1987 and 1988 with failing to register a vehicle and speeding 70 miles an hour in a 55 mph zone, respectively, and paid fines in both cases.

In both cases, he listed an address in the 600 block of Oakwood Avenue in Webster Groves. He was described in the case in 1987 as 6′ 4” and 300 pounds, and in the 1988 case as 6′ 4′ and 260 pounds.

A check of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s sex offender registry did not show his name…

Mitchell Hults, the boy who got off the school bus with Ben and said he had seen an old white pickup in the area, went with his family to the sheriff’s office after they heard the news.

“It’s crazy. I’m happy they got him and I’m glad he’s okay,” said Mitchell, 15. His mother, Sheri Hults, said, “It’s incredible, it’s incredible. I’m just so glad they were found… Thank God they found them alive. We’ve been paying and praying for this.”

In Kirkwood this afternoon, a next door neighbor of Devlin said she has seen Hornbeck in the neighborhood for years, often playing with friends in the neighborhood.

The families want to thank the community for their support and prayers and believe that the prayers helped with the safe return of the boys.


Michael J. Devlin is being held for kidnapping. Other charges are pending. (KSDK)
The BBC is also following this St. Louis story.

KSDK– Ben Ownby said that he watched family members on the television this week while he was being held captive.

Update: Parents are reunited with Shawn Hornbeck after 4 years!

Shawn Hornbeck as he was last seen in 2002, left, and as he was found in 2007, right. (FOX)

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